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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #298250

Title: An assessment of surface properties and moisture uptake of nonwoven fabrics from ginning by-products

item Edwards, Judson - Vince
item Sawhney, Amar
item BOPP, ALVIN - Southern University
item French, Alfred - Al
item Slopek, Ryan
item Reynolds, Michael
item Allen Jr, Hiram
item Condon, Brian
item Montalvo Jr, Joseph

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2015
Publication Date: 12/9/2015
Citation: Edwards, J.V., Sawhney, A.P., Bopp, A., French, A.D., Slopek, R.P., Reynolds, M.L., Allen Jr, H.C., Condon, B.D., Montalvo Jr, J.G. 2015. An assessment of surface properties and moisture uptake of nonwoven fabrics from ginning by-products. In: Poletto, M., Ornaghi, Jr., H.L., editors. Cellulose-Fundamental Aspects and Current Trends. Croatia: InTechOpen. p.45–61.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton in addition to being environmentally friendly has many other positive attributes that are of value including softness, comfort, non-irritating, hypo-allergenic and breathability, it is our future goal to further map the usefulness of nonwoven cotton for incontinence control design into absorbent materials employing electrokinetic analysis. This paper examines the electrokinetic properties of hydroentangled nonwoven materials made by blending clean greige cotton lint with greige cotton by-product fibers with a view to understanding the similarities the materials possess. This paper also explores the preparation, analysis and conjectural incontinence application of greige cotton combined with cotton by-products as result from ginning. These ‘cotton by-products’ include gin motes and comber noils. The types of nonwoven fabrics produced demonstrated absorbent properties similar to those found in incontinence products. Since there is a growing interest in using hydroentangled greige cotton in absorbent nonwoven products the paper is a timely contribution to demonstrating the potential to explore greige cotton for specific uses in the area of absorbent nonwoven incontinence products.

Technical Abstract: Greige (raw) cotton by-products resulting from cotton ginning and mill processes have long been bleached for using them in absorbent nonwoven products. Other than that, the greige cotton by-products mostly had limited material applications, and used as an alternative feedstock for biomass and as a ‘filler’ for mattresses, furniture, automotive, and other industrial products. The potential to use certain greige cotton by-products as an economical source for absorbent nonwoven blends is explored in this study. Nonwoven hydroentanglement of greige cotton lint blended with cotton gin motes and comber noils was analyzed for fiber surface polarity, swelling and absorbance to assess properties that would have potential usefulness in absorbent nonwovens. Electrokinetic analysis of fabric surface properties gives a composite picture of the relative hydrophilic/hydrophobic, absorbency and swelling properties. Electrokinetic properties of nonwoven fabrics made with cleaned greige cotton lint separately blended with comber noils and ginning motes at 40:60 and 60:40 blend ratios have demonstrated charge, swell, and per-cent moisture uptake profiles that are characteristic of the fabrics’ crystalline/amorphous cellulosic content with some variance in swelling properties. X-ray diffraction patterns of the three different cotton constituents investigated displayed similar crystalline cellulose compositions. An electrochemical double layer analysis of charge based on a pH titration (plateau) was employed to measure the relative fiber and fabric surface polarity which varied slightly between -21 and -29 mv. A relationship of fiber swelling and percent moisture content is apparent when greige cotton lint and other fibers are blended. The blended nonwoven materials possess absorbent properties characterized by similar moisture uptake (7.1–9.5 %) and fiber polarity but some variation in swelling based on the type of by-product additive and its percent content. The electrokinetic properties of the blended nonwoven materials are correlated to some potential uses as absorbent nonwoven end-use products.